October 5, 1998
The Administration opposes House passage of H.R. 563, which would require
the Commerce Department to conduct a rulemaking to determine whether to
establish a fee-supported program to help inform consumers whether a
product is "Made in America". The Administration understands the desire to
help consumers determine whether a product is American made; however, the
Administration has serious concerns about H.R. 563.
The Treasury Department's Customs Service and the Federal Trade Commission already seek to provide U.S. consumers with information about country-of-origin and to protect them from fraudulently or deceptively labeled goods. Any attempt to legislate an additional Federal role in "Made-in-America" issues may unnecessarily duplicate current efforts. The toll free number proposal may also overlap ongoing private sector efforts. In addition, there are a number of serious administrative difficulties presented by H.R. 563.